Akhilesh Yadav has laid into Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath after he was stopped from attending a function at Allahabad University.
“Today, I was stopped from boarding a flight to attend a student union program at Allahabad University. I haven’t been given a reason why – but it seems the general impression was that I would create a law and order problem,” the ex-chief minister said.
“The Chief Minister has given a statement to this effect but they are using this as a cover to hide their nervousness because our youth have had enough.”
Yadav was planning to visit Allahabad University to attend the oath-taking ceremony of the students’ union. A candidate from Samajwadi Party Chatra Sabha holds the post of president of the university students’ union.
The development comes in the context of impending national elections in which Uttar Pradesh is likely to play a crucial role due to the high number of Parliamentary constituencies in the state.
Yadav and Maywati, head of Bahujan Samaj Party, have recently finalized an electoral alliance that is widely expected to beat Yogi Adityanath’s Bharatiya Janata Party.
Yadav said the move to block him from visiting Allahabad, where he was reportedly planning to meet up with a Hindu religious leader as well, betrayed nervousness on part of the BJP.
“If there was a genuine problem, the police there would have objected, or asked for a change in my schedule. I understand the need to ensure the safety of people and property and would never do something to endanger either knowingly.
“But, to be stopped from speaking, from asking questions that are on everyone’s lips – to be prevented from engaging with the youth is just another clear sign of how scared the government is.
They have lost Uttar Pradesh, but more than an election, they have lost the faith that the youth of this country reposed in them,” he said.
In a message composed in the Lucknow airport where he was blocked, Yadav also went on to attack the BJP for letting down the people’s trust.
“They have betrayed the aspirations and hopes of crores of young people in their blind pursuit of creating a monochrome India.
“Their attack on institutions by filling them with people whose loyalties lie with an organisation that harbours people who celebrate the Mahatma’s murderer, is an attack on our democracy.
“These are people who have taken two oaths but are only loyal to one. These are people who have never accepted or celebrated our constitution,” he said.
He went on to attack the BJP for its ‘divisive’ politics, and said people should ‘stand with him’.
“Today, I ask everyone to come forward and join hands – not to win an election – but to defeat, and forever stand vigilant against, an ideology that threatens to unravel the beautiful tapestry of our country.”